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Adventure 1: The Mysterious Mayan Mission

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Our first exciting adventure of the year started with a message from a famous American explorer, John Lloyd Stephens. He informed us that he built a time machine to go back to the time of the ancient Mayans. These mysterious people lived many years ago and not much is known about them. He asked if we wanted to go with him… of course we said YES!

Before starting our journey we had to know where we were going so we used our geography skills to locate Central America on a map and then look more closely at the countries that make it up. The children completed a Burn 2 Learn to do so.

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We then considered what we would want to take with us and had a good discussion about what items would be the most useful. The children then decided on what they would take and drew this in their suitcase.

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They then found out that Central America is in a very different time zone to the United Kingdom. After learning about how time zones work, the children worked out what time they would arrive in Central America considering flight times and time zones.

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We had then arrived! Central America looked very different to what we have experienced living in the UK. The children arrived in Chichen Itza and saw a Mayan temple being built and wrote a setting description of what they witnessed. The children did some work as a group on post-its, looked at a WAGOLL and focused on two key learning objectives: relative clauses and fronted adverbials.

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In our first reading lesson we looked at a text about how the Mayans believed the world was created. The children completed two different activities: one answering questions based on the text and one looking at the different process the creators went through to reach the final creation.

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In order to fit in with the Mayan way of life we all created Mayan names. The children learnt about how the Mayans would have named themselves and then created their own name based on whether they are a boy or girl and when they are born. They then designed their own name plaque and wrote about the similarities and differences between the way we name ourselves now and how the Mayans did.

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The Mayans then told us that we needed to look the part. They taught us about the hierarchy system that the Mayan people were separated into. Using this information, the children had to design a headdress following a criteria for the type of Mayan they wanted to be.

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They then made the headdresses, taking careful consideration of their design sheets.

After making them, they wrote evaluations of how well they thought it had gone and what they would improve. This was also their opportunity to see if they stuck to their design criteria.

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In our first editing lesson the children were looking at a WAGOLL about Mayan headdresses. They became teachers and highlighted and annotated the paragraph.

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Our adventure song

To the tune of 'Royals' by Lorde.

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